August 2, 2006
Contact: Roxanne Dey
, (702) 293-8947
Lake Mead has more than 500 miles of shoreline and the current lake elevation is 1,126 vertical feet. The current water temperature is a warm 88 degrees. Lake Mohave has 250 miles of shoreline and the water elevation is 642 vertical feet. There are a wide range of recreational activities available to visitors on both lakes. Personal watercraft are allowed on 95 percent of Lakes Mead and Mohave.
All nine marinas in the park are open and have a variety of services to offer visitors. If you don’t own a boat or don’t wish to rent one, you can still enjoy getting out on the water by taking a boat tour or raft trip. Additional information on services such as boat rentals, boat tours, kayak and river rafting trips can be found on our website: www.nps.gov/lame and also on: www.funonthelake.com.
The Colorado River system is experiencing what could be the worst drought on record. Lake Mead, even with lowering water levels, is still our nation’s largest man-made reservoir. All the recreational activities enjoyed at a lake level of 1,180 feet, can be enjoyed at the current lake level. However, boaters need to be careful when launching and while operating their vessels, because varying water levels can create emerging reefs and other hazards. Most importantly, boaters need to educate themselves about navigational aids on the lake (buoys, reef markers, etc.), the National Park Service can’t mark every hazard on the lake so boaters need to use caution. Boating education information and boater safety courses are available on www.ndow.org.
The Bureau of Reclamation updates the 24-month river system reservoir forecast once a month. You can access their site directly at: http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/lcrivops.html. The site also contains daily elevations as well as historical elevation information.
Current Launch Ramp Conditions - Lake Mead – Nevada Side
Currently, we are recommending Hemenway Harbor as shallow launching only (smaller, flat vessels and personal watercraft). If you have a larger vessel with a “deep v” hull, please use the Boulder Harbor launch ramp next to Lake Mead Marina.
Boulder Harbor (next to Lake Mead Marina)
At least five-six lanes are open and the ramp is suitable for deep-water launching. Parking is available on the upper lot, and the marina parking lot provides overflow parking.
The ramp at Callville Bay is currently being extended to allow for continued launching. As the work progresses on the Callville Ramp updates will be sent. At this time, you are launching at your own risk. The concessioner and the National Park Service will be installing concrete planks and metal pipe mat to extend the ramp. When the installation is complete, an update will be sent. The concessioner offers a shuttle from the parking lot to the launch ramps. Larger vessels, and/or vessels with a “deep v” hull, may want to consider using the boat launch ramp at Boulder Harbor (next to Lake Mead Marina) or Echo Bay.
At least four launch lanes on the south side are open for all size boats.
There are at least four launch lanes open and the ramp is suitable for deep water launching.
Arizona side of Lake Mead:
NPS Divers removed 4-5 large boulders from the launch and harbor area in late June. Some underwater hazards still exist – the NPS can’t remove or mark every hazard that exists in the lake. Please be patient and use caution when launching your boat. The south side (left side looking at the water from the land) of the launch ramp is open with one to two launch lanes available (approximately 30' wide). The North side (right side looking at the water from the land) of the launch ramp is not available at this time due to mud, sand and debris from flash flooding and monsoon rains. No shuttle service is available at South Cove.
One to two launch lanes are open and suitable for deep water launching (vessels up to 35 feet or less than 5 tons) on the west side of the ramp. Please note: all vessels 35 feet and over need to coordinate launching with the District Ranger at 928.767.3401. Two to three launch lanes are available for personal watercraft and smaller vessel boat launching on the east side of the ramp. Be careful because underground springs have developed on the east side of the launch ramp that could indicate large cracks or holes in the ramp. There is typically no waiting line for launching and there is abundant parking.
Current Launch Ramp Conditions - Lake Mohave
The launch ramps and marinas on Lake Mohave, (Cottonwood Cove, Willow Beach, and Katherine Landing), are all open and fully operational.
History of Lowering Water Impacts on Launch Facilities on Lake Mead:
In October 2002, lowering water levels and the growing delta caused the Las Vegas Bay Marina to relocate to the Horsepower Cove area of Hemenway Harbor. The marina operation is now known as the Las Vegas Boat Harbor. Las Vegas Bay Launch Ramp was closed December 15, 2003, and the courtesy dock was removed due to lowering water levels and the rapid movement of an expansive delta front generated from erosion in the Las Vegas Wash. The campground, fish cleaner, and picnic area remain open and available to serve visitors. The area is also open for shoreline fishing. Government Wash (on the Nevada side) and Pearce Ferry (on the Arizona side) closed in 2001 and remain closed.